The Old Testament

Gina and I are currently racing through 12 historical books of the Old Testament, in the vein of The Great Bible Adventure, by Jeff Cavins. Today we finished Exodus. On to Numbers.

The Old Testament is so weird. It is so different from what you would expect, if you had only been ever reading the New Testament. Vengeance, destruction, idolatry, pillaging. I guess God works with what he’s given. And those were the types of people he was given to work with. Consider:

And the LORD said to Moses in Mid’ian, “Go back to Egypt; for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” So Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on an ass, and went back to the land of Egypt; and in his hand Moses took the rod of God. And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. And you shall say to Pharaoh, `Thus says the LORD, Israel is my first-born son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me”; if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your first-born son.'” At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zippo’rah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. Then it was that she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision. (Exodus 4:19-26)

What in the crying heck is that all about? The Lord says to Moses, Go! So Moses goes. On the way, the Lord tries to kill him and is only swayed by a foreskin being put to Moses’ feet. Huh?!

Or:

And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it…

And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought a great sin upon them?” And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot; you know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, `Make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And I said to them, `Let any who have gold take it off’; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and there came out this calf.“…

Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, `Put every man his sword on his side, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

Aaron here has prehaps my favorite line in the whole bible, above bolded. “Dude, all I did was collect a little gold and throw it into the fire. And this gold cow came jumping out of the fire, with flaming eyes, and he growled and scared me, man. What was I supposed to do?” The classic response when confronted with one’s sin. “It wasn’t my fault.” Well, yeah it was.

Dovetailing nicely with what we were saying last night about confession. It goes against every fiber of fallen humanity to speak out loud to someone about our wickedness. Which is why confession, after all this time, continues to be an immense struggle. Why I never want to go, though I desperately need it.

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~ by Rob on March 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “The Old Testament”

  1. I loved the Great Bible Adventure. I can’t wait to hear your impressions when you are all done. However, I felt the same way you did, especially in Maccabees. Gotta love those Holy Wars!

  2. “Today we finished Exodus. On to Numbers.”

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!
    What happened to Levitus?
    (…said the OT lecturer)

    As a professor from my seminary days once said, unless you understand Leviticus, you will never understand Christ.

  3. Like I said, I’m reading through 12 historical books of the OT, to get a 50,000 foot view of the major action. Obviously there are more books than that in the OT, but, for now, this will do as a start.

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